In its first week of operation, Dexter’s team has learned one thing. The weirder the menu item, the more Preston wants it. Pig’s head buns and hot meat doughnuts have been in particularly high demand.

This "non-traditional meatery", as the new venue has labelled itself, is a quirky take on an eat-in butcher. The chefs break down a lot of their cuts on site and plan to have butchery sessions in-house for locals.

An original approach comes into the mix at every stage: from how the meat is treated to what gets drizzled on top. Never slapped haphazardly on a stovetop, the boys smoke, sous-vide or chargrill all of their meats. “We just pick the best meat and then we let it choose its flavour," says co-owner Sam Peasnell. "You'll see prime cuts with Sriracha, kim chi, whipped butter, salted caramel.”

The boys also make buns. Note: not burgers. "We don't do patties and we don't do cheese. It's slow-cooked meat with pickles in between two pieces of brioche," says Sam.

"We really want the meat to be the focus," says older brother and business partner, Tom Peasnell. “We're sourcing Wagyu briskets and all different cuts of meat. We've got a bloke called Ross we just give a call once a week. If he's got something rare that he can get his hands on, we can do something interesting with it."

The inherent sense of experimentation extends to drinks and desserts. Semi-melted liquid-nitrogen ice cream is paired with chocolate biscuits baked to order for the "milk and cookies" a nostalgic, choose-your-own-adventure approach to the humble ice-cream sandwich.

Dexter has invited local breweries (Hawkers, Kooinda, Temple, Boatrocker, Three Ravens etc.) to take over all three taps for short periods of time. You may not be surprised to find out you can also knock back a pickle back here.

There's no doubt that Preston and its surrounding suburbs are on the rise, with Stray Neighbour popping up this week and Welcome to Thornbury around the corner. But Dexter makes a strong argument for New King Of The North with its no-holds-barred approach to food and drink.

Dexter
456 High Street, Preston
(03) 9973 3577

Hours
Wed to Sun Lunch 12pm–3pm
Dinner 5pm–late

dexter.melbourne